Europium is a chemical element with symbol Eu and atomic number 63. It was isolated in 1901 and is named after the continent of Europe. It is a moderately hard, silvery metal which readily oxidizes in air and water. Being a typical member of the lanthanide series, europium usually assumes the oxidation state +3, but the oxidation state +2 is also common. All europium compounds with oxidation state +2 are slightly reducing. Europium has no significant biological role and is relatively non-toxic compared to other heavy metals. Most applications of europium exploit the phosphorescence of europium compounds. Europium is one of the least abundant elements in the universe; only about 5×10−8% of all matter in the universe is europium.
|Appearance||silvery white, with a pale yellow tint; but rarely seen without oxide discoloration|
|Standard atomic weight Ar, std(Eu)||151.964(1)|
|Europium in the periodic table|
|Atomic number (Z)||63|
|Electron configuration||[Xe] 4f7 6s2|
Electrons per shell
|2, 8, 18, 25, 8, 2|
|Phase at STP||solid|
|Melting point||1099 K (826 °C, 1519 °F)|
|Boiling point||1802 K (1529 °C, 2784 °F)|
|Density (near r.t.)||5.264 g/cm3|
|when liquid (at m.p.)||5.13 g/cm3|
|Heat of fusion||9.21 kJ/mol|
|Heat of vaporization||176 kJ/mol|
|Molar heat capacity||27.66 J/(mol·K)|
|Oxidation states||+1, +2, +3 (a mildly basic oxide)|
|Electronegativity||Pauling scale: 1.2|
|Atomic radius||empirical: 180 pm|
|Covalent radius||198±6 pm|
Spectral lines of europium
|Crystal structure|| body-centered cubic (bcc)|
|Thermal expansion||poly: 35.0 µm/(m·K) (at r.t.)|
|Thermal conductivity||est. 13.9 W/(m·K)|
|Electrical resistivity||poly: 0.900 µΩ·m (at r.t.)|
|Magnetic susceptibility||+34,000.0·10−6 cm3/mol|
|Young's modulus||18.2 GPa|
|Shear modulus||7.9 GPa|
|Bulk modulus||8.3 GPa|
|Vickers hardness||165–200 MPa|
|Discovery and first isolation||Eugène-Anatole Demarçay (1896, 1901)|
|Main isotopes of europium|
Europium is a ductile metal with a hardness similar to that of lead. It crystallizes in a body-centered cubic lattice. Some properties of europium are strongly influenced by its half-filled electron shell. Europium has the second lowest melting point and the lowest density of all lanthanides.
Europium becomes a superconductor when it is cooled below 1.8 K and compressed to above 80 GPa. This is because europium is divalent in the metallic state, and is converted into the trivalent state by the applied pressure. In the divalent state, the strong local magnetic moment (J = 7/2) suppresses the superconductivity, which is induced by eliminating this local moment (J = 0 in Eu3+).
Europium is the most reactive rare-earth element. It rapidly oxidizes in air, so that bulk oxidation of a centimeter-sized sample occurs within several days. Its reactivity with water is comparable to that of calcium, and the reaction is
Because of the high reactivity, samples of solid europium rarely have the shiny appearance of the fresh metal, even when coated with a protective layer of mineral oil. Europium ignites in air at 150 to 180 °C to form europium(III) oxide:
Although usually trivalent, europium readily forms divalent compounds. This behavior is unusual to most lanthanides, which almost exclusively form compounds with an oxidation state of +3. The +2 state has an electron configuration 4f7 because the half-filled f-shell gives more stability. In terms of size and coordination number, europium(II) and barium(II) are similar. For example, the sulfates of both barium and europium(II) are also highly insoluble in water. Divalent europium is a mild reducing agent, oxidizing in air to form Eu(III) compounds. In anaerobic, and particularly geothermal conditions, the divalent form is sufficiently stable that it tends to be incorporated into minerals of calcium and the other alkaline earths. This ion-exchange process is the basis of the "negative europium anomaly", the low europium content in many lanthanide minerals such as monazite, relative to the chondritic abundance. Bastnäsite tends to show less of a negative europium anomaly than does monazite, and hence is the major source of europium today. The development of easy methods to separate divalent europium from the other (trivalent) lanthanides made europium accessible even when present in low concentration, as it usually is.
Naturally occurring europium is composed of 2 isotopes, 151Eu and 153Eu, with 153Eu being the most abundant (52.2% natural abundance). While 153Eu is stable, 151Eu was recently found to be unstable to alpha decay with half-life of 5+11
−3×1018 years, giving about 1 alpha decay per two minutes in every kilogram of natural europium. This value is in reasonable agreement with theoretical predictions. Besides the natural radioisotope 151Eu, 35 artificial radioisotopes have been characterized, the most stable being 150Eu with a half-life of 36.9 years, 152Eu with a half-life of 13.516 years, and 154Eu with a half-life of 8.593 years. All the remaining radioactive isotopes have half-lives shorter than 4.7612 years, and the majority of these have half-lives shorter than 12.2 seconds. This element also has 8 meta states, with the most stable being 150mEu (t1/2=12.8 hours), 152m1Eu (t1/2=9.3116 hours) and 152m2Eu (t1/2=96 minutes).
The primary decay mode for isotopes lighter than 153Eu is electron capture, and the primary mode for heavier isotopes is beta minus decay. The primary decay products before 153Eu are isotopes of samarium (Sm) and the primary products after are isotopes of gadolinium (Gd).
Like other lanthanides, many isotopes, especially isotopes with odd mass numbers and neutron-poor isotopes like 152Eu, have high cross sections for neutron capture, often high enough to be neutron poisons.
152Eu (half-life 13.516 years) and 154Eu (half-life 8.593 years) cannot be beta decay products because 152Sm and 154Sm are non-radioactive, but 154Eu is the only long-lived "shielded" nuclide, other than 134Cs, to have a fission yield of more than 2.5 parts per million fissions. A larger amount of 154Eu is produced by neutron activation of a significant portion of the non-radioactive 153Eu; however, much of this is further converted to 155Eu.
155Eu (half-life 4.7612 years) has a fission yield of 330 parts per million (ppm) for uranium-235 and thermal neutrons; most of it is transmuted to non-radioactive and nonabsorptive gadolinium-156 by the end of fuel burnup.
Europium is not found in nature as a free element. Many minerals contain europium, with the most important sources being bastnäsite, monazite, xenotime and loparite-(Ce). No europium-dominant minerals are known yet, despite of a single find of a tiny possible Eu–O or Eu–O–C system phase in the Moon's regolith.
Depletion or enrichment of europium in minerals relative to other rare-earth elements is known as the europium anomaly. Europium is commonly included in trace element studies in geochemistry and petrology to understand the processes that form igneous rocks (rocks that cooled from magma or lava). The nature of the europium anomaly found helps reconstruct the relationships within a suite of igneous rocks.
Divalent europium (Eu2+) in small amounts is the activator of the bright blue fluorescence of some samples of the mineral fluorite (CaF2). The reduction from Eu3+ to Eu2+ is induced by irradiation with energetic particles. The most outstanding examples of this originated around Weardale and adjacent parts of northern England; it was the fluorite found here that fluorescence was named after in 1852, although it was not until much later that europium was determined to be the cause.
Europium is associated with the other rare-earth elements and is, therefore, mined together with them. Separation of the rare-earth elements is a step in the later processing. Rare-earth elements are found in the minerals bastnäsite, loparite-(Ce), xenotime, and monazite in mineable quantities. Bastnäsite is a group of related fluorocarbonates, Ln(CO3)(F,OH). Monazite is a group of related of orthophosphate minerals LnPO
4 (Ln denotes a mixture of all the lanthanides except promethium), loparite-(Ce) is an oxide, and xenotime is an orthophosphate (Y,Yb,Er,...)PO4. Monazite also contains thorium and yttrium, which complicates handling because thorium and its decay products are radioactive. For the extraction from the ore and the isolation of individual lanthanides, several methods have been developed. The choice of method is based on the concentration and composition of the ore and on the distribution of the individual lanthanides in the resulting concentrate. Roasting the ore and subsequent acidic and basic leaching is used mostly to produce a concentrate of lanthanides. If cerium is the dominant lanthanide, then it is converted from cerium(III) to cerium(IV) and then precipitated. Further separation by solvent extractions or ion exchange chromatography yields a fraction which is enriched in europium. This fraction is reduced with zinc, zinc/amalgam, electrolysis or other methods converting the europium(III) to europium(II). Europium(II) reacts in a way similar to that of alkaline earth metals and therefore it can be precipitated as carbonate or is co-precipitated with barium sulfate. Europium metal is available through the electrolysis of a mixture of molten EuCl3 and NaCl (or CaCl2) in a graphite cell, which serves as cathode, using graphite as anode. The other product is chlorine gas.
A few large deposits produce or produced a significant amount of the world production. The Bayan Obo iron ore deposit contains significant amounts of bastnäsite and monazite and is, with an estimated 36 million tonnes of rare-earth element oxides, the largest known deposit. The mining operations at the Bayan Obo deposit made China the largest supplier of rare-earth elements in the 1990s. Only 0.2% of the rare-earth element content is europium. The second large source for rare-earth elements between 1965 and its closure in the late 1990s was the Mountain Pass rare earth mine. The bastnäsite mined there is especially rich in the light rare-earth elements (La-Gd, Sc, and Y) and contains only 0.1% of europium. Another large source for rare-earth elements is the loparite found on the Kola peninsula. It contains besides niobium, tantalum and titanium up to 30% rare-earth elements and is the largest source for these elements in Russia.
Europium compounds tend to exist trivalent oxidation state under most conditions. Commonly these compounds feature Eu(III) bound by 6–9 oxygenic ligands, typically water. These compounds, the chlorides, sulfates, nitrates, are soluble in water or polar organic solvent. Lipophilic europium complexes often feature acetylacetonate-like ligands, e.g., Eufod.
Europium metal reacts with all the halogens:
This route gives white europium(III) fluoride (EuF3), yellow europium(III) chloride (EuCl3), gray europium(III) bromide (EuBr3), and colorless europium(III) iodide (EuI3). Europium also forms the corresponding dihalides: yellow-green europium(II) fluoride (EuF2), colorless europium(II) chloride (EuCl2), colorless europium(II) bromide (EuBr2), and green europium(II) iodide (EuI2).
Europium forms stable compounds with all of the chalcogens, but the heavier chalcogens (S, Se, and Te) stabilize the lower oxidation state. Three oxides are known: europium(II) oxide (EuO), europium(III) oxide (Eu2O3), and the mixed-valence oxide Eu3O4, consisting of both Eu(II) and Eu(III). Otherwise, the main chalcogenides are europium(II) sulfide (EuS), europium(II) selenide (EuSe) and europium(II) telluride (EuTe): all three of these are black solids. EuS is prepared by sulfiding the oxide at temperatures sufficiently high to decompose the Eu2O3:
The main nitride is europium(III) nitride (EuN).
Although europium is present in most of the minerals containing the other rare elements, due to the difficulties in separating the elements it was not until the late 1800s that the element was isolated. William Crookes observed the phosphorescent spectra of the rare elements including those eventually assigned to europium.
Europium was first found in 1892 by Paul Émile Lecoq de Boisbaudran, who obtained basic fractions from samarium-gadolinium concentrates which had spectral lines not accounted for by samarium or gadolinium. However, the discovery of europium is generally credited to French chemist Eugène-Anatole Demarçay, who suspected samples of the recently discovered element samarium were contaminated with an unknown element in 1896 and who was able to isolate it in 1901; he then named it europium.
When the europium-doped yttrium orthovanadate red phosphor was discovered in the early 1960s, and understood to be about to cause a revolution in the color television industry, there was a scramble for the limited supply of europium on hand among the monazite processors, as the typical europium content in monazite is about 0.05%. However, the Molycorp bastnäsite deposit at the Mountain Pass rare earth mine, California, whose lanthanides had an unusually high europium content of 0.1%, was about to come on-line and provide sufficient europium to sustain the industry. Prior to europium, the color-TV red phosphor was very weak, and the other phosphor colors had to be muted, to maintain color balance. With the brilliant red europium phosphor, it was no longer necessary to mute the other colors, and a much brighter color TV picture was the result. Europium has continued to be in use in the TV industry ever since as well as in computer monitors. Californian bastnäsite now faces stiff competition from Bayan Obo, China, with an even "richer" europium content of 0.2%.
Frank Spedding, celebrated for his development of the ion-exchange technology that revolutionized the rare-earth industry in the mid-1950s, once related the story of how he was lecturing on the rare earths in the 1930s, when an elderly gentleman approached him with an offer of a gift of several pounds of europium oxide. This was an unheard-of quantity at the time, and Spedding did not take the man seriously. However, a package duly arrived in the mail, containing several pounds of genuine europium oxide. The elderly gentleman had turned out to be Herbert Newby McCoy, who had developed a famous method of europium purification involving redox chemistry.
Relative to most other elements, commercial applications for europium are few and rather specialized. Almost invariably, its phosphorescence is exploited, either in the +2 or +3 oxidation state.
It is a dopant in some types of glass in lasers and other optoelectronic devices. Europium oxide (Eu2O3) is widely used as a red phosphor in television sets and fluorescent lamps, and as an activator for yttrium-based phosphors. Color TV screens contain between 0.5 and 1 g of europium oxide. Whereas trivalent europium gives red phosphors, the luminescence of divalent europium depends strongly on the composition of the host structure. UV to deep red luminescence can be achieved. The two classes of europium-based phosphor (red and blue), combined with the yellow/green terbium phosphors give "white" light, the color temperature of which can be varied by altering the proportion or specific composition of the individual phosphors. This phosphor system is typically encountered in helical fluorescent light bulbs. Combining the same three classes is one way to make trichromatic systems in TV and computer screens. Europium is also used in the manufacture of fluorescent glass. One of the more common persistent after-glow phosphors besides copper-doped zinc sulfide is europium-doped strontium aluminate. Europium fluorescence is used to interrogate biomolecular interactions in drug-discovery screens. It is also used in the anti-counterfeiting phosphors in euro banknotes.
An application that has almost fallen out of use with the introduction of affordable superconducting magnets is the use of europium complexes, such as Eu(fod)3, as shift reagents in NMR spectroscopy. Chiral shift reagents, such as Eu(hfc)3, are still used to determine enantiomeric purity.
A recent (2015) application of europium is in quantum memory chips which can reliably store information for days at a time; these could allow sensitive quantum data to be stored to a hard disk-like device and shipped around the country.
|GHS signal word||Danger|
|P222, P231, P422|
There are no clear indications that europium is particularly toxic compared to other heavy metals. Europium chloride, nitrate and oxide have been tested for toxicity: europium chloride shows an acute intraperitoneal LD50 toxicity of 550 mg/kg and the acute oral LD50 toxicity is 5000 mg/kg. Europium nitrate shows a slightly higher intraperitoneal LD50 toxicity of 320 mg/kg, while the oral toxicity is above 5000 mg/kg. The metal dust presents a fire and explosion hazard.
53 Aurigae is a binary star in the constellation Auriga. Its apparent magnitude is 5.74. Parallax estimates made by the Hipparcos spacecraft put it at a distance of 350 light-years (106 parsecs) away.The two components of 53 Aurigae orbit each other every 39 years. The primary component, 53 Aurigae A, is chemically peculiar since it contains higher-than-normal amounts of manganese, but also europium, chromium, and mercury. It is a B-type main-sequence star, while the secondary component, 53 Aurigae B, is an early F-type main-sequence star. The total mass of the system is estimated to be 4.8 M☉.EuFOD
EuFOD is the chemical compound with the formula Eu(OCC(CH3)3CHCOC3F7)3, also called Eu(fod)3. This coordination compound is used primarily as a shift reagent in NMR spectroscopy. It is the premier member of the lanthanide shift reagents and was popular in the 1970s and 1980s.Eugène-Anatole Demarçay
Eugène-Anatole Demarçay (1 January 1852 – 5 March 1903) was a French chemist. He studied under Jean-Baptiste Dumas. During an experiment, an explosion destroyed the sight in one of his eyes.
He was a spectrum specialist. In 1896, he suspected samples of the recently discovered element samarium were contaminated with an unknown element, which he isolated in 1901, naming it europium. In 1898 he used his skills of spectroscopy to help Marie Curie confirm that she had discovered the element radium.Europium(II) bromide
Europium(II) bromide is a crystalline compound of one europium atom and two bromine atoms. Europium(II) bromide is a white powder at room temperature, and odorless. Europium dibromide is hygroscopic.Europium(II) sulfide
Europium (II) sulfide is the inorganic compound with the chemical formula EuS. It is a black, air-stable powder. Europium possesses an oxidation state of +II in europium sulfide, whereas the lanthanides exhibit a typical oxidation state of +III. Its Curie temperature (Tc) is 16.6 K. Below this temperature EuS behaves like a ferromagnetic compound, and above it exhibits simple paramagnetic properties. EuS is stable up to 500 °C in air, when it begins to show signs of oxidation. In an inert environment it decomposes at 1470 °C.Europium(III) bromide
Europium(III) bromide (or Europium tribromide) is a crystalline compound made of one europium and three bromine atoms. Europium tribromide is a grey powder at room temperature. It is odorless. Europium tribromide is hygroscopic.Europium(III) chloride
Europium(III) chloride is an inorganic compound with the formula EuCl3. The anhydrous compound is a yellow solid. Being hygroscopic it rapidly absorbs water to form a white crystalline hexahydrate, EuCl3·6H2O, which is colourless. The compound is used in research.Europium(III) nitrate
Europium(III) nitrate is an inorganic compound with the formula Eu(NO3)3. Its hexahydrate is the most common form, which is a colorless hygroscopic crystal.Europium(III) oxide
Europium(III) oxide (Eu2O3), is a chemical compound of europium and oxygen. It is widely used as a red or blue phosphor in television sets and fluorescent lamps, and as an activator for yttrium-based phosphors. It is also an agent for the manufacture of fluorescent glass. Europium fluorescence is used in the anti-counterfeiting phosphors in Euro banknotes.Europium oxide has two common structures: Monoclinic (mS30, SpaceGroup = C2/m, No. 12) and cubic (cI80, SpaceGroup = Ia-3, No. 206). The cubic structure is similar to that of manganese(III) oxide.
It may be formed by ignition of europium metal.
It can react with acids to form the corresponding europium(III) salts.Europium acetylacetonate
Europium acetylacetonate is a compound with formula Eu(C5H7O2)3. It is the europium complex of acetylacetone.Europium anomaly
The Europium anomaly is the phenomenon whereby the europium (Eu) concentration in a mineral is either enriched or depleted relative to some standard, commonly a chondrite or mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB). In geochemistry a europium anomaly is said to be "positive" if the Eu concentration in the mineral is enriched relative to the other rare-earth elements (REEs) and is said to be "negative" if Eu is depleted relative to the other REEs.
While all lanthanides form relatively large trivalent (3+) ions, Eu and cerium (Ce) have additional valences, europium forms 2+ ions, and Ce forms 4+ ions, leading to chemical reaction differences in how these ions can partition versus the 3+ REEs. In the case of Eu, its reduced divalent (2+) cations are similar in size and carry the same charge as Ca2+, an ion found in plagioclase and other minerals. While Eu is an incompatible element in its trivalent form (Eu3+) in an oxidizing magma, it is preferentially incorporated into plagioclase in its divalent form (Eu2+) in a reducing magma where it substitutes for calcium (Ca2+).Enrichment or depletion is generally attributed to europium's tendency to be incorporated into plagioclase preferentially over other minerals. If a magma crystallizes stable plagioclase, most of the Eu will be incorporated into this mineral causing a higher than expected concentration of Eu in the mineral versus other REE in that mineral (a positive anomaly). The rest of the magma will then be relatively depleted in Eu with a concentration of Eu lower than expected versus the concentrations of other REEs in that magma. If the Eu-depleted magma is then separated from its plagioclase crystals and subsequently solidifies, its chemical composition will display a negative Eu anomaly (because the Eu is locked up in the plagioclase left in the magma chamber). Conversely, if a magma accumulates plagioclase crystals before solidification, its rock composition will display a relatively positive Eu anomaly.A well-known example of the Eu anomaly is seen on the moon. REE analyses of the moon's light-colored lunar highlands show a large positive Eu anomaly due to the plagioclase-rich anorthosite comprising the highlands. The darker lunar mare, consisting mainly of basalt, shows a large negative Eu anomaly. This has led geologists to speculate as to the genetic relationship between the lunar highlands and mare. It is possible that much of the moon's Eu was incorporated into the earlier, plagioclase-rich highlands, leaving the later basaltic mare strongly depleted in Eu.Europium barium titanate
Europium barium titanate is a chemical compound composed of barium, europium, titanium, and oxygen. It is magnetic and ferroelectric.It is a ceramic material which was used in 2010 experiments on a new theory on baryon asymmetry.Isotopes of europium
Naturally occurring europium (63Eu) is composed of 2 isotopes, 151Eu and 153Eu, with 153Eu being the most abundant (52.2% natural abundance). While 153Eu is observationally stable, 151Eu was recently found to be unstable and to undergo alpha decay. The half-life is measured to be (4.62 ± 0.95(stat.) ± 0.68(syst.)) × 1018 y which corresponds to 1 alpha decay per two minutes in every kilogram of natural europium. Besides the natural radioisotope 151Eu, 36 artificial radioisotopes have been characterized, with the most stable being 150Eu with a half-life of 36.9 years, 152Eu with a half-life of 13.516 years, 154Eu with a half-life of 8.593 years, and 155Eu with a half-life of 4.7612 years. The majority of the remaining radioactive isotopes have half-lives that are less than 12.2 seconds. This element also has 17 meta states, with the most stable being 150mEu (t1/2 12.8 hours), 152m1Eu (t1/2 9.3116 hours) and 152m2Eu (t1/2 96 minutes).
The primary decay mode before the most abundant stable isotope, 153Eu, is electron capture, and the primary mode after is beta decay. The primary decay products before 153Eu are isotopes of samarium and the primary products after are isotopes of gadolinium.Isotopes of gadolinium
Naturally occurring gadolinium (64Gd) is composed of 6 stable isotopes, 154Gd, 155Gd, 156Gd, 157Gd, 158Gd and 160Gd, and 1 radioisotope, 152Gd, with 158Gd being the most abundant (24.84% natural abundance). The predicted double beta decay of 160Gd has never been observed; only lower limit on its half-life of more than 1.3×1021 years has been set experimentally.Thirty radioisotopes have been characterized, with the most stable being alpha-decaying 152Gd (naturally occurring) with a half-life of 1.08×1014 years, and 150Gd with a half-life of 1.79×106 years. All of the remaining radioactive isotopes have half-lives less than 74.7 years. The majority of these have half-lives less than 24.6 seconds. Gadolinium isotopes have 10 metastable isomers, with the most stable being 143mGd (t1/2=110 seconds), 145mGd (t1/2=85 seconds) and 141mGd (t1/2=24.5 seconds).
The primary decay mode at atomic weights lower than the most abundant stable isotope, 158Gd, is electron capture, and the primary mode at higher atomic weights is beta decay. The primary decay products for isotopes of weights lower than 158Gd are the element Eu (europium) isotopes and the primary products at higher weights are the element Tb (terbium) isotopes.
Gadolinium-153 has a half-life of 240.4±10 days and emits gamma radiation with strong peaks at 41 keV and 102 keV. It is used as a gamma ray source for X-ray absorptiometry and fluorescence, for bone density gauges for osteoporosis screening, and for radiometric profiling in the Lixiscope portable x-ray imaging system, also known as the Lixi Profiler. In nuclear medicine, it serves to calibrate the equipment needed like single-photon emission computed tomography systems (SPECT) to make x-rays. It ensures that the machines work correctly to produce images of radioisotope distribution inside the patient. This isotope is produced in a nuclear reactor from europium or enriched gadolinium. It can also detect the loss of calcium in the hip and back bones, allowing the ability to diagnose osteoporosis.Gadolinium-148 would be ideal for radioisotope thermoelectric generators due to its 74-year half life, high density, and dominant alpha decay mode. However, Gadolinium-148 cannot be economically synthesized in sufficient quantities to power a RTG.List of inorganic compounds
Although most compounds are referred to by their IUPAC systematic names (following IUPAC nomenclature), "traditional" names have also been kept where they are in wide use or of significant historical interests.Promethium
Promethium is a chemical element with symbol Pm and atomic number 61. All of its isotopes are radioactive; it is extremely rare, with only about 500-600 grams naturally occurring in Earth's crust at any given time, and one of only two such elements that are followed in the periodic table by elements with stable forms, a distinction shared with technetium. Chemically, promethium is a lanthanide. Promethium shows only one stable oxidation state of +3.
In 1902 Bohuslav Brauner suggested that there was a then-unknown element with properties intermediate between those of the known elements neodymium (60) and samarium (62); this was confirmed in 1914 by Henry Moseley who, having measured the atomic numbers of all the elements then known, found that atomic number 61 was missing. In 1926, two groups (one Italian and one American) claimed to have isolated a sample of element 61; both "discoveries" were soon proven to be false. In 1938, during a nuclear experiment conducted at Ohio State University, a few radioactive nuclides were produced that certainly were not radioisotopes of neodymium or samarium, but there was a lack of chemical proof that element 61 was produced, and the discovery was not generally recognized. Promethium was first produced and characterized at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 1945 by the separation and analysis of the fission products of uranium fuel irradiated in a graphite reactor. The discoverers proposed the name "prometheum" (the spelling was subsequently changed), derived from Prometheus, the Titan in Greek mythology who stole fire from Mount Olympus and brought it down to humans, to symbolize "both the daring and the possible misuse of mankind's intellect". However, a sample of the metal was made only in 1963.
There are two possible sources for natural promethium: rare decays of natural europium-151 (producing promethium-147), and uranium (various isotopes). Practical applications exist only for chemical compounds of promethium-147, which are used in luminous paint, atomic batteries and thickness measurement devices, even though promethium-145 is the most stable promethium isotope. Because natural promethium is exceedingly scarce, it is typically synthesized by bombarding uranium-235 (enriched uranium) with thermal neutrons to produce promethium-147 as a fission product.Strontium aluminate
Strontium aluminate (SRA, SrAl, SrAl2O4) is a solid odorless, nonflammable, pale yellow, monoclinic crystalline powder, heavier than water. When activated with a suitable dopant (e.g. europium, then it is labeled Eu:SrAl2O4), it acts as a photoluminescent phosphor with long persistence of phosphorescence.
There are also other strontium aluminates, e.g. SrAl4O7 (monoclinic), Sr3Al2O6 (cubic), SrAl12O19 (hexagonal), Sr4Al14O25 (orthorhombic).Strontium iodide
Strontium iodide (SrI2) is a salt of strontium and iodine. It is an ionic, water-soluble, and deliquescent compound that can be used in medicine as a substitute for potassium iodide
It is also used as a scintillation gamma radiation detector, typically doped with europium, due to its optical clarity, relatively high density, high effective atomic number (Z=48), and high scintillation light yield.In recent years, europium-doped strontium iodide (SrI2:Eu2+) has emerged as a promising scintillation material for gamma-ray spectroscopy with extremely high light yield and proportional response, exceeding that of the widely used high performance commercial scintillator LaBr3:Ce3+. Large diameter SrI2 crystals can be grown reliably using vertical Bridgman technique and are being commercialized by several companies.Terbium
Terbium is a chemical element with symbol Tb and atomic number 65. It is a silvery-white, rare earth metal that is malleable, ductile, and soft enough to be cut with a knife. The ninth member of the lanthanide series, terbium is a fairly electropositive metal that reacts with water, evolving hydrogen gas. Terbium is never found in nature as a free element, but it is contained in many minerals, including cerite, gadolinite, monazite, xenotime, and euxenite.
Swedish chemist Carl Gustaf Mosander discovered terbium as a chemical element in 1843. He detected it as an impurity in yttrium oxide, Y2O3. Yttrium and terbium are named after the village of Ytterby in Sweden. Terbium was not isolated in pure form until the advent of ion exchange techniques.
Terbium is used to dope calcium fluoride, calcium tungstate and strontium molybdate, materials that are used in solid-state devices, and as a crystal stabilizer of fuel cells which operate at elevated temperatures. As a component of Terfenol-D (an alloy that expands and contracts when exposed to magnetic fields more than any other alloy), terbium is of use in actuators, in naval sonar systems and in sensors.
Most of the world's terbium supply is used in green phosphors. Terbium oxide is in fluorescent lamps and television and monitor cathode ray tubes (CRTs). Terbium green phosphors are combined with divalent europium blue phosphors and trivalent europium red phosphors to provide trichromatic lighting technology, a high-efficiency white light used for standard illumination in indoor lighting.